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Day out of Days

Manila, April 22, 2005

Last tuesday I got in this huge stretch limo to go to the airport. One nice bag only this time with only some 40lbs. Lol. It was around 9.30am. The night before things went hectic. As usual. Contract not signed. Travelarrangements mixed up. I'll spare you details. Anyway. Now things were looking good. I'm supposed to land in Honolulu around 3pm local time. I intend to visit my friend and mentor to present him with a birthdaypresent I found in the Netherlands. Feeling good. Airport in LA is a mess but for a change I'm vip picked up and have lots of time. Even more so. The flight gets delayed. Some hours later the plane takes off. After an hour flight we start to make a big u turn and the captain apologizes. We have to return to LA. Some malfunction. As we touchdown a dozen of yellow firetrucks are racing along on both sides but the captain explains this is just a precaution. The brakes might overheat because of all the fuelweight still unburnt. Now LA is even more of a mess because noone knows how to handle or reschedule. Wait. Another plane might be found. I decide to take a break and reschedule myself for an early plane the next day. I can't get my luggage out. Take a taxi back home. It's 3pm. I call my lawyer. More complications have come up. Since I am back it might be better not to fly until things are cleared. I do see my planned bday visit going south fast. Grind my teeth. These things happen. More phonecalls. I plan to fly possibly the next morning. Producer - god bless him - calls and speaks firm words. If I don't fly today they will take another actor. The timepressure on their side is impossible. The actor I would work with is only there for one more day. I fly again at 8am. Make a stop in Hawaii and amazingly I am able to find my piece of luggage instantly. The guy has been waiting for me and is a fan. I get a 6hrs of sleep while the airco is drying my eyeballs and get on the next plane to the Philippines. 11 hrs. Arrive in one piece but figure I need to sleep some more because I can't read anything that is on a newspaper page. I'm met by a bunch of friendly people who I may not recognize in the morning. The plan was to rehearse but I am asked if I can shoot the next day. I say of course but hear from agent/lawyers etc that I may have to wait. The timedifference with LA plays against clearing all problems. Ok. Oi. My call is at 7am the next day and after being on the phone with the US we decide to handle in good faith and work.

In the few spare hours I spend some serious quality time with local technicians playing around with toolkits and codes because the internet connections are not working. I change rooms later. But the same thing happens inthere. Many modems and calls later I find out that in this country the internet speed is 64K. For my serviceprovider something that is known to create problems. I have some bills to pay. But I can still not read. My eyeballs are older than I am now. The hotel is nice. The service is trying. I collapse into bed by 9.30pm local and I am awake at 4pm. I go to the bizz centre and browse through emails.

At 7am I sit down with producer and we talk through plans for shooting, then we get on a small helicopter and I am happy again. What a profession. We fly out over the concrete skyscraping city where pain has become history a while ago. There is no doubt the country is struggling. We fly over the coastline of the south sea and land in the jungle 20min later. I shoot some video of it all for a doc I am making on the life of a monty pythons friend. Lol. Me...


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